by EVIE TUBBS SWEENEY
Monticello V was the only sire to have two progeny in the AWPA $100,000 Western Pleasure Futurity in 2019. And he did it from a foal crop of just nine foals in 2015. One of these two progeny, the stunning Hendrixx WB, was crowned National Champion.
His story is one for the ages. And we have the privilege of bearing witness to its coming culmination.
Monticello V is a son of the late, great supersire, Jullyen El Jamaal, and out of one of Varian’s most prepotent broodmares, Mosquerade V, daughter of the incomparable Moska. It goes without saying, that greatness is layered into the DNA of Monticello V, as does his ability to pass it forward.
But filling the shoes of a sire such as Jullyen is difficult given even the finest parentage.
Enter Carolyn Lesley.
Carolyn grew up with horses, sharing the bond with her mother, longtime horsewoman Mary Lesley. A 17-year equine hiatus ensued as Carolyn’s involvement in her father’s thriving event company amplified. But in February 2015, through a twist of fate, she found herself walking through the Scottsdale Arabian Horse show, and the mother/daughter team shared their passion in horses once again. Not even Mary’s tragic diagnosis of terminal Sarcoma shortly thereafter decelerated their enthusiasm.
The day that Carolyn walked into Monticello’s stall and met him for the first time at Setting Sun Stables was a moment that redefined both of their futures.
“It was love at first sight, and I think Monticello sensed his role immediately when my mom walked into his stall,” Carolyn recalled.
Carolyn and Monticello were inseparable from that point forward. The final show Mary attended, she witnessed Carolyn and Monticello crowned Canadian National Champions. Mary passed away during U.S. Nationals just two months later.
“When my mom and I got back into horses, we had no idea she was sick – and then it all hit,” Carolyn said. “And I think, what a blessing we did it together and she was able to get to know Monticello. The timing was amazing. God had a plan.”
Carolyn and Monticello traveled the country, picking up title after title, before his official retirement to stud in 2017. Following his final show ring performance, Monticello boarded a trailer to the west coast, where he would return to his birthplace of Varian Arabians and fill the empty stall of his father, both literally and figuratively.
The 2019 U.S. Nationals turned out to be a defining moment in the breeding career of Monticello V; his progeny wins and statistics were simply profound:
Four out of six progeny by Monticello V that were shown in Tulsa garnered Top Ten Championships or better in their western divisions, and are as follows: four Top Tens, and one Reserve National Championship and three U.S. National Championships …
Hendrixx WB – Champion AWPA Arabian Horse World $100,000 Western Pleasure Futurity with Stanley White III (for trainer Joe Reser)
Hendrixx WB –Champion Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR Maturity with Andrea Martoglio
Cello Shots SS –Champion H/A Western Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 with Carolyn Lesley
Honeys Rockin Cello – Reserve Champion H/A Western Pleasure Open with Joe Reser
Monticello progeny made up 20% of the Top Ten finalists in the most lucrative class of the show, the Arabian Horse World AWPA $100,000 Western Pleasure Futurity, with one of them, Hendrixx WB, winning it.
Monticello V was the only sire to claim more than one progeny in the Arabian Horse World AWPA $100,000 Western Pleasure Futurity Top Ten… and this against major western sires such as Zefyr, Sundance Kid V, and KM Bugatti. What’s more, Monticello achieved this feat from a foal crop of just nine foals.
Put simply, his consistent percentage of western pleasure winners at the highest levels of competition is utterly astonishing.
Combine that with the love-filled team that has supported him every step of the way, along with his massive social media fan base around the world (Facebook.com/ItsCelloTime), and his story becomes one for the ages.